Horror: Ranking the entire Friday the 13th Franchise

In 1980 the world was introduced to a movie about camp counsellors getting slaughtered by an unknown assailant at Camp Crystal Lake.  At the time it was your standard slasher film that had been popular over the 1970s. No one thought that it would spawn 10 other sequels including a crossover.

Friday the 13th has become a cultural phenomenon since its debut in 1980. There isn’t a corner of pop culture that doesn’t have a reference to the hockey-masked killer and that shows the influence it has had on our society.

Unfortunately, the movies themselves sometimes leave a little to be desired. There have been some downright terrible Friday movies to go along with the good ones.

Below I have ranked the Friday the 13th movies. To rank them I did establish some criteria for each to follow. In each movie, we will take a look at Jason’s look, the story/characters of the movie, the kills, and the final girl.

11 – Friday the 13th Part: V A New Beginning

Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning | Movie fanart | fanart.tv

Numbers 11 through 9 can be lumped together at the bottom of the list, but for the sake of numbering the Jason entries, let’s go with the fake Jason edition.

After Jason had met his untimely demise in part four the people at Paramount still wanted to get some money out of the Friday franchise so they decided to make this movie.  At the time Jason was not the walking zombie that he would become so fans were left wondering how the hockey-masked killer was going to work his way into the film. Unfortunately, the decision to have some other character under the mask was not met with a positive response.

The fifth entry in the Friday franchise is probably one of the slowest movies in the series. It takes a long time to get to the killing and that is what we watch these movies for.

There are also too many characters that are just shoehorned into the story to up the body count. The greasers and the coke head ambulance driver and his way above his station girlfriend are one-dimensional characters that do nothing for the movie.

Before the “shock” twist ending that it was Roy Burns under the mask and not Jason, sorry spoiler alert,  Jason did have a good look. It was your standard Jason ensemble but it is still an intimidating look regardless of it not being the real Jason.

One of the saving graces of this movie is the entertaining opening kill segment. Using Tommy Jarvis to connect the two movies was a smart idea and the opening scene was played out well by Corey Feldman. A graveyard in a rainstorm is a great way to establish a tone right off the bat and being a Jason movie they achieved a perfect blend of terror and awe.

Sadly, the opening kill of the movie is the only one that needs rewatching.  Most of the kills throughout the movie either happened off-screen or were shot with extreme close-ups so there was not much action to see.

The final girl, Pam, was a decent edition and she checked most of the final girl boxes but when looking at the overall franchise she does not stand up with some of the best.

Friday the 13th Part V was an interesting endeavor by the filmmakers and it was commendable to try something different with the franchise. By this point, though the standard Jason formula was the money maker and with this, they did not succeed.

10 – Friday the 13th Part: VIII Jason Takes Manhattan

Watch Friday the 13th, Part VIII - Manhattan | Prime Video

When watching this movie one may wonder if there is a part of Crystal Lake that connects to the ocean. After looking into this myself that answer is no, not there is not. This begins our confusing look into the movie that nearly killed the Friday franchise.

What this movie did manage to achieve, outside of really hurting the brains of the viewers, was the overall look of Jason. The addition of a sopping wet Jason throughout most of the movie was a good visual. It was a look that we haven’t seen much of from Jason and added a certain menace to the character as he stalked through the mean streets of New York City, you know when they eventually got there.

Speaking of the bald-faced lie that is the title, this movie was only an enjoyable watch for about the last 40 minutes. You go in expecting that Jason is going to be stalking the streets of New York killing whoever is in his way, and yes this does happen eventually. First, we have to sit through nearly an hour of Jason on a boat, which is far less entertaining.

The opening kill of the movie was pretty good by franchise standards. Having Jason reclaim his mask, with ax mark and all, was a cool moment, and the speargun to the stomach move provided some decent gore. It was also entertaining the slowness with which Jason murdered the girl hiding under the boat deck.

Renee as the final girl of the movie was terrible, to be honest. She stood around for most of the movie letting her man do most of the work. She was also directly responsible for killing her teacher/friend in a car crash when she was trying to run Jason down so her usefulness comes into question.

If you are binge-watching all the Friday movies then this one will have to be on your list, otherwise, I would leave it on the shelf.

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